The EDITH and LORNE PIERCE
COLLECTION of CANADIANA
^eens University at Kingston
Facts for the Settler
Sunny Southern Alberta
I^ethbridge, Alta.. April ISth/igiO
This pamphlet is issued by the I,ethbrids:e Board of Trade,
the purpose being to tell the TRUTH about the l,ethbridge
District of Sunny Southern Alberta.
The TRUTH is good enough, and we fear the man who
exaggerates, more than we do the knocker.
Every statement in this pamphlet is guaranteed to be
the truth without exaggeration.
LETHBRIDGE BOARD OF TRADE,
ALTA., - Can.
There is today no place in the West where farming of all kinds can be
carried on with more profit, for the capital and work invested, than in this
Here there is a large irrigafcion system owned and operated by the Alberta
Railway and Irrigation Co., ithis however does not mean tha/t irrigation is
necessary for successful farming.
Farming without irrigaition or dry farming as it ds called to distinguish it
from irrigated, is the back bone of the distriot.
Of the 276,400 acres in wheat, oats and barley in the district last year
only some 30,000 was on irrigated land, the balance of 246,400 acres bedng on
dry land, without irrigation.
Such crops as Alfalfa, Timothy, Sugar Beets, Small Fruits and Market
Gardens will, however, give a larger yield with irrigation making it very profit-
able to use for these crops.
THE GRAIN CROP
Southern Alberta is noted as a Wheat District, and especially as a winter
wheat district, being the home of the celebrated Alberta Red Winter Wheat.
Other grains can be grown here to advantage, but it is sometimes said that
the farmers here are wheat crazy and other grains are not given a fair show
being usually put in because the farmer thinks when he gets ready to sow it Is
too late to sow wheat.
The Government Crop Report for the district (Crop Districts 1-2-3-4-5) is
as follows for the year 1909:
The above are the averages for all, the good, bad and indifferent, and
there are many who did better than tbe general average and some who did
not do as well.
60 bushels of wheat and 125 of oats are yields that a few men got, there
were a great many who got 35 to 40 of wheat and 60 to 80 of oats and there
is nothing to hinder any man doing as well as the best of these as it is not
a matter of luck, but of careful intelligent farming.
There is no difficulty about the proper method to follow in order to secure
the best results and Mr. Fairfield of the Experimental Farm, writes as follows
regarding it :
PREPARATION OF RAW LAND FOR THE FIRST CROP OF GRAIN
"Break the ground during the wet season of May and June and roll it down
flat immediately after the plow, this connects the furrow slice soil with the
Bub-soil and facilitates the rotting process.
"The common practice is to break 4 to 5 inches deep, further cultivation
should be shallow. No attempt should be made to cut through the sod with
(the discs but merely enough to form a muilch on top of the sod to prevent rapid
evaporation. If one is prepared to do this surface cultivation after a rain while
the sod is moist, the 'land will work more economically and to better advan-
tage. Enough work should be done to get sufficient loose soil to fill in the
cracks between the sods.
"If this is done the sod will rot sufficiently during the summer to he
loose and dn good condition for growing a crop the foillowing Spring.
"If Winter wheat is to be sown, the best time to put it in is during the
month of August, hnt if spring grain is to be sown, the land is allowed to
lie in this condition till the following April when a good harrowing imme-
dia/tely after the frost draws out will prepare the land sufficiently for the
seed drill. For best resuiLts from Spring grain the land should be given the
same surface preparation in July as if Winter wheat was to be sown.
"Backsetting, although not commonly in vogue, is a practice that cannot be
too highly recommended. The only change necessary in breaking is that It
should be done shallower, 2 1-2 inches if possible.
"The sods are rolled down and in the latter part of July the land is plowed
again about two inches deeper than it was broken or as deep as the root fiber
has rotted in the sub-soiil which is usually about two inches, the land is im-
m diately harrowed after this plowing or if necessary harrowed and disced.
"Considerable land during the past few years has been broken in April
and immediately sown with grain. Although fair results are often obtained
in this way, it is not a practice that can be recommended, for if the season is dry
the resulting crop may be disappointing, and on account of the sods not having
had a chance to rot properly, the second crop is not nearly as good as after
breaking the land in May or June and allowing to lie fallow all summer.
"The best amount of seed to sow per acre in this district has not yet been
fully determined, however, about 60 lbs, of Winter wheat and about 70 of
Spring wheat, oats or barley is probably not far from the right amount."
COST OF OBTAINING THE FIRST CROP
The cost of obtaining the first crop is a question in which new settlers are
always interested and was about as follows, per acre, when let by contract
The farmer does not need to pay this out, however, as he can do a large
amount of the work himself, and the second crop will not cost as much as
the first, as a common practice is to put the second crop in the stubble with a
disc seeder without plowing.
Breaking new land $3.50
Double discing 75
Double harrowing 50
Cutting and stooking 1.25
Threshing from stook (30 bush.) 2.70
Total, per acre $10.95 ,
AVERAGE PRICE OF GRAIN
The average price of grain at the elevators here the past season has been
as follows per bushel: Wheat 85 cents; barley 40 cents and oats 28 cents, which
figuring only the average yield gives a good profit on the first crop and a
larger one on the second.
Alfalfa, undoubtedly the best forage plant known to modern farming. Is
grown here most successfully.
On irrigated land 3 to 6 tons per acre and on dry land 2 to 4 tons per acre
are average crops per year and this when baled sells for $12 to $14 per ton.
Soil for inoculation can be obtained from the Experimental farm without
Mr. Fairfield of the Experimental Farm in his pamphlet "Alfalfa Growing
in Southern Alberta" concludes as follows:
"Use summer fallow or land in which root crops have been grown the
previous season. Do not plow it but prepare a shallow seed bed. Inoculaite
the land with about 150 pounds of soil from an old alfalfa field and work it In
while the seed bed is being prepared. Sow the seed in the latter part of
May or early in June at the rate of 20 pounds per acre on irrigated land and
less on dry land.
"Do not use a nurse crop.
"The first season do not neglect to run the mowing machine over
the land before the weeds get too high and cut it a second time if practicable."
"Eighteen miles to the south of Lethbridge at Raymond is a large Beet
Beets can be raised on new land if after breaking it up from the sod a
crop of grain is raised and then summer fallowed for one year.
One man can take care of about 15 acres and help can be obtained to
take care of more.
On dry land the crop averages 8 to 10 tons per acre and on irrigated land
has gone as high as 22 tons per acre.
It costs about $26.00 to raise a crop of 10 tons to the acre, a larger ton-
nage costing a little more, and the factory pays $5.00 per ton for the beets at
All kinds of Small Fruits grow here to perfection. Raspberries, Straw-
berries, Currants, etc., all do well and are paying propositions either on a
large scale or in the kitchen garden.
Mr. H. P. Gatrell had six acres in strawberries and raspberries in 1909
and this year is increasing it /to 12 acres.
He is situated three miles from Lethbriidge and writes as follows:
"This portion of Southern Alberta is eminently adapted for the growing
of small fruit, particularly raspberries and strawberries.
"When its capabilities in this respect are more thoroughly appreciated it
will be 'the principal strawberry growing district in Western Canada not
excepting the famous B. C. fruit lands.
Picking Strawberries on Mr. Gatrell's Farm
"Strawberries grown here and shown at the Dominion Fair in Calgary in
1908 were pronounced by all who saw them to surpass any others in the ex-
hibition both in appearance and flavor.
I have been growing both berries for the market here for three years
and am more satisfied each year and this year am doubling the acreage.
"There is a splendid market for all the fruit that can be raised and prices
are excellent, strav/berries averaged last year $3.40 per crate of 24 quarts
wholesale and retailed at $4.25 per crate. At the same time imported berries
were selling at $3.25 to $3.50 retail. Raspberries sold for about $2.70 per
crate of 24 pints wholesale.
"The strawberry plants when set out will bear well for two years and
taking one year with another the expense will be about ?60 per acre and pick-
ing wiU cost two cents per quart.
"With care and attention a man can easily realize a profit of $300 to $500
per acre per year.
"I am working on irrigaited land but if a deep rooted variety be selected
and planted early in the Spring just before our heavy rains in May and the
ground kept thoroughly cultivated to hold the moisture, berries will do well
on dry land.
"A farmer a few miles north of Lethbridge to whom I supplied plaMs has
an excellent stand of both berries and had an abundant supply of fruit last
yeiar on dry land, and our rainfall last year was less than the average."
Most, if not all of the Market Gardens here are on irnigated land as the
returns from the garden will be larger 'than without irrigation and in fact most
market gardens with which we are familiar in other districts have some
means of putting on water artificially.
All kinds of vegetables such as corn, lettuce, peas, cabbage, cauliflower,
cucumbers, celery and all roots grow here to perfection and there is a much
larger local demand for them than the local supply, large quantities being
shipped in from a distance.
With the long bright sunny days and plenty of water from the ditch, there
is an excellent chance for the practical gardner who is willing to work.
Any farmer with a little energy can have a kitchen garden which will
supply his table with all kinds of fresh vegetables in their season, stock his
cellar with them for the winter, and have a surplus which can be sold for more
than the cost of running the garden.
Dairy and milk farms are profitable undertakings in this district, the mild
winters robbing them of much of the hard work that usually goes with them.
Good feed is plentful, and there are very few days in winter when milch
cows cannot be turned out to feed from the stack.
Milk delivered at the house in Lethbridge sells for 10 cents per quart and
good table butter at from 30 to 40 cents per pound.
Mr. Cook, of the Eden Rest Poultry Farm, Lethbridge, writes as follows:
"Poultry keeping in connection with the farm or as a special business in
Southern Alberta can be made very profitable If reasonable care be given the
"Poultry of almost every kind is easily raised here and owing to the
greater length of daylight in summer, the young can be brought to maturity
much more rapidly than in the east.
"In the matter of housing, our climate is such that the fowls do better
living as near the open as possible, yet having protection from the cold
nights. Houses built on ithe open front plan are best and cheapest. The best
ones are just large enough for 50 hens and the material for one costs $27.00
"Situated on the main line of railway connecting us with the mining and
lumber industries of British Columbia, we shall always have a good market
for surplus eggs and poultry. At . present the local demand exceeds the
supply and large q^uanti'ties are imported into the district each year.
"In 1909 eggs retailed at the following prices: March and April, 35 cents
per dozen; May, 25 cents; June and July, 30 cents; August and September..
40 cents; October and November, 45 cents; December, 50 cents; January,
1910, 60 cents; February -50 cents.
"During the past four years good dressed fowls have never retailed for
less than 20 cents per pound, spring chickens from the time they are ready
up to the middle of November 25 cents per pound, dressed, but not drawn.
Turkeys with the head and feet on and not drawn sell for 25 to 32 cents per
"Taking into consideration how cheaply feed can be produced and the
high prices eggs and poultry sell for we feeil satisfied there is no place in
any country where Poultry Farming can be carried on more pleasantly and
profitably than in Southern Alberta."
RAIM FALL AT LETHBRIDGE FOR EIGHT YEARS
Taken from the Government reports
AVERAGE PER YEAR FOR THE PAST EIGHT YEARS 16.78 INCHES
This yearly average however is not a true indlcaition of the rain as it af-
fects the growing crop and an examination of the figures will show that for
the eight years the average for the month of May is 4.4 inches, for June 3.19
inches and for July 1.85 inches.
That is, the yearly average for the months when the crop is growing is
9.44 inches and this amount of rain fall at th-at time insures a first class crop.
Lethbridge is situated directly east of the Crows Nest Pass in the Rocky
Mountains and through this pass gets the Chinook winds which give it a
mild and fine winter; there is very little sleighing, when the snow falls the
Chinook soon eats it up
Fall and winter are a succession of bright sunny days with very little
cold weather or storm
Owing to the influence of the chinook the crop season opens earlier in the
spring and frost holds off longer in the fall than in districts immediately
south or north of Lethbridge.. Plowing usually continues through November;
and this spring (1910) began the first week in March.
The following table showing the amount of sunshine enjoyed for the past
two years will explain why this district is called SUNNY Southern Alberta:
The instrument which records the sunshine does not make a record ex-
cept for BRIGHT sun, neither does it make a record for about the first hour and
a half the sun is up in the morning, nor for the last hour before it sets at
night, as it is not bright enough then, therefore at least two hours can be
added to the table for each day.
No. of hrs. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jly, Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Tl.
sun above hor'n. 267 280 370 414 480 487 491 441 378 337 270 252 4467
Reg. hrs. 1908 115 100 151 202 185 254 360 309 217 151 124 143 2311
Reg. hrs. 1909 120 123 194 231 231 302 346 379 241 186 89 102 2544
Taxes are very small on farm property, in districts where there is no
school from $4 to $10 per quarter section, and where there is a school from
16 to ?16, and cannot by law exceed $16 per quarter.
ROADS AND BRIDGES
The government takes care of the main roads and bridges and the roads
are uniformly good with few or no hills.
Automobiles run the year round on them at a rate of 25 miles per hour
without any difficulty, and a farmer with four light horses often brings 100
bushels of wheat 15 miles or more to the elevator.
Lethbridge Exhibit, National Corn Exposition, Omaha, Nebraska— December 6-18, 1909.
A provincial university has been established at Strathcona and a Normal
school for the training of teachers at Calgary and there are several high
schools, one of whdch is at Lethbridge, and public schools are in abundance all
over the province.
New schools can be easily obtained, any area not more than five miles in
length or breadth having four actual residents who would be liable to assess-
ment may be organized into a school district, provided there are in the
district 12 children between the age of 5 and 16 years inclusive.
This school district can issue debentures for the purpose of raising money
to build a school house, the payment of which forms the basis of the school
tax on the land in the district.
The cost of maintaining the school is small as the government makes a
liberal grant towards the teacher's salary, and also inspects the school twice a
year to see that it ds kept up to the the proper standard.
There arc five large coal mines at Lethbridge where the farmer can buy
coal at $3.60 per ton. There are also a number of small mines scattered
about the dis'trict where the farmer can buy coal for $2.50 to $3.00 per ton.
A great advantage to all farmers in the district is the Government Experi-
mental Farm situated two miles from Lethbridge, and in charge of one of the
best known agricultural authorities in the West, Mr. W. H. Fairfield.
Here the farmer can obtain advice and information that can be depended
on to be strictly correct and which it would take the individual farmer years
of toil and loss to learn for himself.
This is an important feature in this district, as its value, especially to
the new settler, cannot be over estimated.
LAW AND ORDER
The Canadian laws are fair and just, and are enforced without fear or
favor. The Mounted Police, the headquarters of a detachment being at
Lethbridge, cover the country thoroughly and the bad man of the wild and
wooly west is unknown here.
Cattle stealing and other crimes often supposed to belong with the West
are rarely heard of here, and life and property are as safe as on any farm in
PRICES AND TERMS FOR LAND
In the district there is no railroad or government land for sale, but private
Individuals and land companies, of which there are a number in Lethbridge,
have plenty of land for sale.
Prices vary according to the owner and the location of the land. Land
about 25 miles from the railroad sells for $14 to $18; fifteen miles from the rail
the price will be about $18 to $20; seven or eight miles from the raid, $20 to
$25, and still nearer the rail $25 up, this all being good wheat land.
Irrigated land sells for $50 up.
The actual settler who will go onto the land and improve it by putting
in a crop can buy on easy terms and in many cases on crop payments.
Land titles are issued by the Government on the Torrens system, and a
person holding the Government certificate of title has absolute possession
and no trouble to fear from former owners, or any one else.
PRICES OF AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENTS
The following is an average price for the following articles at Leth-
3 1-4 Farm wagon complete, with brake $100.00
20 Marker single disc drill 140.00
8 ft. Binder with tongue truck 180.00
5 ft. Mower 64.00
12 ft. Self dump rake 40.00
Combination stubble and breaker walking plow 29.00
14 in. Sulky plow 50.00
14 in. Gang plow 75.00
10 Bottom big engine gang 830.00
8 Bottom big engine gang 715.00
20 Horsepower gas tractor 2350.00
16116 Disc harrow complete with tongue truck 55.00
60 Tooth drag, complete with draw bar 16.00
Fanning mills 40.00
PRICES OF LUMBER
Dimension per tnousand
No. 2 boards, per thousand
No. 3 boards, per thousand
Clear XXX Cedar shingles, per thousand
PRICES OF LIVE STOCK
1,000 pound Horses, prairie raised, each
1,500 pound Horses, prairie raised, each
Mares 15 to 25 per cent, higher
Hogs, Live weight, per lb.
Sunny Southern Alberta Winter Wheat, Pulled October 8th, 1909
In the Lethbridge district there are some homesteads still
available, they are 60 or 70 miles from the city and 30 or 40 miles from a
railroad, but the building of projected railroads will bring muny of them
nearer the rail in the next two or three years.
A synopsis of the Canadian regulations regarding homesteads Is as
Any person who is the sole head of a family, or any' male over 18 years
old, may hoitiestead a quarter-section of available Dominion iand In Manitoba,
Saskatchewan or Alberta. The applicant must appear in person at the Domin-
ion Lands Agency or Sub-Agency for the district. Entry by proxy may be
made at any agency on certain conditions, by father, mother, son, daughter,
brother or sisiter of intending homesteader.
Duties — Six months' residence upon and cultivation of the land In each
of three years. A homesteader may live within nine miles of his homestead
on a farm of at leas-t 80 acres solely owned and occupied by him or by his
father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister.
In certain districts a homesteader in good standing may pre-empt a quarter-
section alongside his homestead. Price $3.00 per acre. Duties — Must reside
six months in each of six years from date of homestead entry (including the
one required to earn homestead patent) and cultivate fifty acres extra.
A homesteader who has exhausted Ms homestead right and cannot ob-
tain a pre-emption may take a purchased homestead in certain distnicts. Price
$3.00 per acre. Duties — Must reside six months in each of three years, cul-
tivate fifty acres and erect a house worth $300.00.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS FOR THE SETTLER
The Customs tariff provides for the free entry of settlers effects as follows
it being understood that "live stock for the farm" means not more than 16 head.
Clause 705 — Wearing apparel, books, usual and reasonable household fur-
niture and other household effects; instruments and tools of trade, occupation
or employment, guns, musical instruments, domestic sewing machines, type-
writers, bicycles, carts, wagons and other highway vehicles, agricultural imple-
ments and live stock for the farm, not to include live stock or articles for sale,
or for use as a contractors outfit, nor vehicles nor implements moved by mech-
anical power, nor machinery for use in any manufacturing establishment; all
the foregoing if actually owned abroad by the settler for at least six months
before his removal to Canada and subject to the regulations prescribed by the
Minister of Customs; Provided that any dutiable article entered as settlers
effects may not be so entered unless brought by the settler on his first arrival
and shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of without payment of duty until
after twelve months actual use in Canada.
CITY OF LETHBRIDGE
The City of Lethbridge is situated in the centre of Sunny Southern Alberta
and is the metropolis of the district.
By rail it is 993 miles or 30 hours run from Minneapolis, 763 miles from
Winnipeg, 1,483 miles from Chicago, 1,590 miles from St. liOuis, 1,356 miles
from Omaha, 1,553 miles from Kansas City.
It is a modern progressive up-to-date City of 11,000 population.
Has Municipal owned electric light and power plant, water and sewage
system and up-to-date fire brigade and police department.
Wide streets, good cement sidewalks, boulevards and trees.
Churches, Schools, Dodges, Hospitals, Theaters, Business Houses, and
Homes, such as are usually found in a modern city.
$6<J,000 Y. M. C. A. building now being built.
A Daily newspaper and a second just starting, 10 Banks representing a
capital of over $86,000,000 and another now building.
Building permits for 1909 $1,268,215.
Pay Roll over $200,000 per month.
5 large Coal Mines within 5 miles of the city.
Flour Mills and Elevators.
Has openings for all kinds of business and manufacturing.
Increased its population 66 per cent last year.
Is the coming City of Alberta.
For further information regarding city or district write the Board of Trade
Dry and Irrigated Farmdng 3
The Grain Crop 3
Preparation for First Cro^ 5
Cost of First Crop 5
Price of Grain 7
Sugar Beets 7
Small Fruits 9
Market Gardens 11
Kitchen Gardens 11
Dairy Farming 11
Poultry Farming 11
Map of District inside back cover
Roads and Bridges 15
Experimental Farm 17
Law and Order 17
Prices and Terms for Land 17
Prices of Implements 19
Prices of Lumber 19
Prices of Live Stock 19
Customs Regulations 21
City of Lethbridge 23
[A Stool of Sunny Southern A Iberia Oats